After a short break from working on Strike, I did some of my fastest work over the past two days.
The entire torso assembly was put together, using my method of sanding pieces down during a build, painting and letting them dry in the patio, while I return to sand and prepare the next set of pieces.
I find this to be quite efficient considering the painted pieces need around 30 minutes to dry (but typically over a day for the paint to cure). Here are some snaps of where this project currently stands, I know – I couldn’t resist :D
I also decided to go with a USB connector on the end of my custom cable, which powers the eyes of the Gundam. I noticed that I had a growing collection of the Apple USB keyboard extender cables; the kind that has a notch inside the socket.
I cut the socket end off and simply soldered on the connections. The red wire is +5 Vdc (VCC) and black is ground (GND). Once soldered, I used heatshrink tubing to reinforce soldered joints. Remember, soldering is essentially a means for an electrical contact, but it does not act as a strain relief. That is where heatshrinking comes in and ensures mechanical strength, especially when two wires are soldered together.
To power up the lights I am using a spare iPhone/iPod adapter. These can supply a maximum of 5 Vdc @ 1 A, which is ideal for this task.
Just remember, do not plug your ‘USB Gundam’ into any computers – you risk frying your USB port. The reason is that ‘active’ USB ports control the current depending on how attached devices identify themselves. Devices that do not negotiate power requirements with the host are set to draw 100 mA; in theory, my Strike should be able to power itself off a USB port – I just do not want to risk it though. Strike is currently powered via a USB port on my Ubuntu leech box!
Here’s a final close up.
Otaku will notice that I have not stuck to the standard Strike colour scheme and this was of course quite intentional. I thought the typical bright blue is far too “bright’ and makes the Strike look far too happy. I want a slightly more sinister Strike and the very deep blue I’ve used for the outer torso armour is just splendid.
Since this is my very first PG kit I must say that I am well amazed by the weight of the model. Careful inspection of the photos above will reveal how I’ve posted Strike to lean forwards in an effort to offset the shift in centre of mass of Strike due to the Aile Striker on its back.
The great thing about PG is that one can really get away by not having to do the panel lining as all the bits offer enough visual ‘complexity’. I like having my gunpla look like in the anime, with no decals as well. Of course, if Bandai included water sliding decals I may change my mind; considering the price of the kit, we modellers should not have to resort to sourcing these elsewhere. Arms installation next :)
Tip of the Day: I found a certain piece of armour to be exposed to quite a lot of contact friction during posing. This resulted in the part being rubbed having its coat of paint ruined, essentially being scraped off at the points of contact. Mr. Top Coat simply could not survive this level of friction.
Before I could address the situation, I decided to see if I could remove the paint thereby rescuing the parts in question. I used 95% alcohol and simply immersed the two pieces and let them sit for a while. It took well over 30 mins of my brushing at them with an old toothbrush. The paint slowly start to flake off! Once satisfied, I held them under cool running water. Any bits of paint missed were sanded down with Tamiya P1000 sandpaper and the parts were salvaged.
Update: Strike has been shifted to its place of refuge for the moment until I find time to complete the arms. Hope you like the snaps!